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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Shmot

Parashat Shmot

Seeing from a distance

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"And these are the names of the children of Israel who came down to Egypt"

Rashi indicates that enumerating the names of the children of Yaakov, who we have already met in the book of Genesis, is a sign of how precious they (we) are to God. They are compared to the stars which God lovingly displays in the heavens, calling each by its name.

The Chatam Sofer comments that we, the Jewish people are indeed compared to stars because it is our task and privilege to illuminate what can sometimes be a very dark universe.

Generally we see stars from a distance, hundreds, thousands or millions of light years away. That distance prevents us from viewing them as they really are - huge orbs of pulsating energy and light with a tremendous influence on other celestial bodies and the very space around them. In Egypt (the Diaspora) we too are a pale reflection of our potential power. Viewed from the right perspective and setting however, we are a blazing source of energy and light.

Israel is the setting in which a Jewish soul can come to full expression of its potential power.. Leaving Miztrayim, (Egypt) is not easy. The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote that we all have our "meitzarim", narrow places that can keep us confined. Sometimes those narrow places can even take the form of a lovely home on five acres. But leave Mitrayim we must, if we are to arrive at our true destiny.

Aloh Naaleh.! As sons and daughters of Israel, let us shine forth as a beacon of faith, illuminating the world with the message of "Shma Yisrael" from the holiest place in the universe, the Land of Israel.

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This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
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